A friend passed away today from bone cancer, She was 44, she was diagnosed in September and she is gone in 3 months. She did not have a clue till September that she even had the disease, it was too late by the time she was diagnosed. This prompted me to write this blog as I think many of us are not aware of the causes and what could be done to prevent it within our control. Firstly to educate yourself about cancer read the below.
We can roughly divide cancer risk factors into the following groups:
- biological or internal factors, such as age, gender, inherited genetic defects and skin type
- environmental exposure, for instance to radon and UV radiation, and fine particulate matter
- occupational risk factors, including carcinogens such as many chemicals, radioactive materials and asbestos
- lifestyle-related factors.
Lifestyle-related factors that cause cancer include:
- UV radiation in sunlight
- some food-related factors, such as nitrites and poly aromatic hydrocarbons generated by barbecuing, deep frying food).
Cancer causing factors related to work and living environments include:
- asbestos fibres
- tar and pitch
- polynuclear hydrocarbons (e.g. benzopyrene)
- Some metal compounds
- Some plastic chemicals (e.g. Vinyl chloride)
Bacteria and viruses can cause cancer:
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori, which causes gastritis)
- HBV, HCV (hepatitis viruses that cause hepatitis)
- HPV (human papilloma virus, papilloma virus, which causes changes eg. Cervical cells)
- EBV (Epstein-Barr virus, the herpes virus that causes inflammation of the throat lymphoid)
I honestly believe and also there is substantial evidence that the diet we take and life style we lead is one of the causes for cancer. There are many things which we cannot control which it comes to cancer but at least some we can try to control. My advice from nutritional point of view is:
- Avoid deep fried foods especially in restaurants, as restaurants use reclycled oil which is loaded with trans fats which are one of the known causes of cancer. As an example and also to give you perspective, imagine they deep fry chicken in the oil, the animal fat from chicken is fried to beyond its point of saturation and turns into transfats which is in the oil, then they fry fish in the same oil and more residue is left, then they fry another batch of another meat and so on and so forth. It is yuck when you put it like that right? Well it is! Same principle applies at home please DO NOT reuse oil used for deep frying, just throw it out.
- Avoid foods from supermarket like chips, biscuits and all the packet junk food as these are really really bad for you, In fact most of them are not even food, they are so chemically altered in their processing. Again without going into too much details let’s just say the fats used in them are just not good to be consumed. In the processing of these foods they could get poisoned slightly with chemicals, metals, plastics which could be part of the machinery or from environmental pollution.
- Eat the freshest fruits and vegetables as possible, not tinned, not frozen. The more fruit and vegetables you eat the better for you.
- Think of how our grandparents diet was and try to follow it in similar way you won’t go wrong.
- Utilise all the routine screenings available to you, like mammograms, pap smears etc.